John Green, author of Looking for Alaska, really does have a way with words, doesn’t he? In the span of 221 pages, Green takes you on an incredible journey that’s filled with such a combination of emotions. As you read his book, one moment you are filled with this incredible sense of joy and happiness, but then you turn only a page or two and you are struck with one of the most thought provoking sentences you have ever read.
Looking for Alaska opens up with Miles Halter moving away from his family in Alabama to continue his high school education at Culver Creek Boarding School. Here, he is introduced to his new room mate, Chip, or “The Colonel” as Chip prefers to be called. The Colonel welcomes Miles into the school life, and gives him the ironic nickname of “Pudge”. Once Miles starts to settle into his temporary home, Chip introduces Miles to his friend. Alaska Young: Beautiful, intelligent, and slightly confusing and mysterious to Miles. As Miles gets to know Alaska, he soon feels as if she is his absolute dream girl. However, he later finds out they would not make the ‘ultimate couple’ much to his dismay.
John Green packs so much power into such a short book that you’ll find it very difficult to put down. This story has just the right mixture of comedy, love, morals, and tragic loss. Green’s story will leave you with such thought provoking ideas, questions, and other statements that will stay with you for quit some time.
Goodness gracious! Without a doubt, this was one of the greatest young adult books I have ever read. I legit did not want to stop reading it, and when I had to put it down for a moment, I couldn’t focus on anything but the book! Book in my hand or not, my mind kept racing about what they were saying and what was going to happen next.
“Geez, Chip, I can barely remember what I did last Tuesday and then there’s you memorizing the population of every single country!”
“Aw, Miles, you’re so cute and awkward. . .”
“Dude, I would love to try a bufriedo.”
“DANG IT, JOHN GREEN! DON’T DO THIS TO ME!”
During the entirety of me reading the book, I constantly went back and forth from laughing, to sobbing, to wandering around my room, pondering about life. (Man, does John Green give a good existential crisis or what?) In all seriousness though, Green put so much meaning into such a small book. My favorite overall parts of the book are when Alaska talks about being stuck in the “labyrinth of suffering” and how she feels about it.
“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. (…) You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”
The moment Alaska Young said this, it was just, BANG, right there in my mind and was stuck there for the rest of the day, and still continues to check in on me here and there in my ever looming existential crisis.
Knowing John Green’s books, I knew that I would end up in tears at some point during the reading of this book. As sad as his books are, I really do enjoy them a lot. They are never your typical story and, especially this book, show that books don’t always have a happy ending. When Alaska was announced dead, yes, I shed a few tears, but I was also slightly content with how it ended. Like I said before, not all stories have a happy ending and they don’t always end up getting married and riding off into the sunset. No. As sad as it is, that’s not how it works.
I recently read an article that they are going to be turning Looking for Alaska into a movie and I am very excited to see how they do. Hopefully, it will be just as amazing as the book.